Senior UN official meets first person in US vaccinated against COVID

F.P. Report

NEW YORK: The first American to be vaccinated against the COVID virus and a first-responder in New York City, Sandra Lindsay, met with Abdulla Shahid, President of the General Assembly.

The meeting came on Wednesday, ahead of a high-level vaccines event that will be held at the United Nations in which Dr. Lindsay will speak about the importance of vaccine equity.

“The United Nations is hosted in New York and we are part of this strong City”, said Mr. Shahid, who is convening the 25 February event to galvanize momentum for universal vaccination.

Dr. Lindsay said it was “just amazing” that she “this young lady from Jamaica would one day end up in the General Assembly”.

“I’m happy I’m here ahead of the debate on Friday to talk about the importance of vaccinations, vaccine equity, and really, just global health,” she added.

Symbolic thanks

The meet-and-greet was also an opportunity for President Shahid to symbolically thank the health professionals in New York who have worked tirelessly since the outbreak of the pandemic to treat and support the diplomatic community, many of whom are New York residents.

“Medical workers have been on the front lines seven days a week, 16 hours a day. We thank them,” he said, calling it “a privilege to meet Dr. Lindsay and to hear from her about the work being done in New York.”

Humanitarian ‘pioneer’

Dr. Lindsay received her first COVID vaccine on 14 December 2020, following emergency use authorization of the shots.

The Assembly President described her as a “pioneer who showed humanity” by taking the vaccine.

“You are one person whom the world will remember,” he said.

The publicity provided Dr. Lindsay with a platform, which she has used to advocate for the use of and access to COVID vaccines.

Vaccines equal ‘hope’

“Vaccine equity is near and dear to my heart. I am happy that you chose that as the theme of his high-level event,” Dr. Lindsay told President Shahid, calling the vaccine “hope.”

Dr. Lindsay will speak to the high-level event on vaccines via a pre-recorded video message to urge the global community to prioritize education about vaccines, support for health care workers, and vaccine equity, to stop the pandemic.

She is the director of nursing for the critical care division at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, part of Northwell Health, and holds a doctorate in health sciences.